Ramsey and Rhodes will “Sprint” to A-B

Mark Martin
Cameron Ramsey - "Cam is a good kid that is very respectful and coachable. Coaching kids like Cam makes coaching fun," said Eddie Smolder, Ripley's outgoing head coach. "He is a hard worker and gives great effort in all football-related activities. I'm very proud of him and wish him nothing but the best."

“Life is a journey, not a sprint.”

Don’t tell that to Ripley Viking football standouts Cameron Ramsey and Austin Rhodes.

The two graduating seniors are bound for Alderson-Broaddus University in Philippi to play for the school’s sprint football program.

Sprint football players must weigh no more than 178 pounds to be eligible. In addition, players must also possess a minimum of five percent body fat to maintain eligibility.

The sport centers around speed and agility.

Alderson-Broaddus’ program will be in its second season of operation. The Battlers are guided by Brad Jett, who enjoyed great success for several years as the head coach at South Harrison High School near Clarksburg.

A-B is one of only 10 schools in the country presently offering the sport.

Ramsey led the Vikings in rushing this past season by accumulating 964 yards on 140 carries. He scored eight touchdowns along the way.

Ramsey was also the team’s top pass catcher with 14 receptions for 198 yards and one TD.

Rhodes carried the ball 49 times for 234 yards and a touchdown. Rhodes hauled in four catches for 10 yards.

Rhodes and Ramsey were also the defensive leaders for the Vikings.

Rhodes topped the team in tackles with 60 with Ramsey close behind, coming up with 57.5 stops.

Other schools offering sprint football are Army (West Point, NY), Caldwell University (Caldwell, NJ), Chestnut Hill College (Philadelphia, PA), Cornel (Ithaca, NY)l, Mansfield University (Mansfield, PA), Navy, (Annapolis, MD), Penn (Philadelphia, PA), Post University (Waterbury, CT) and St. Thomas Aquinas.(Sparkill, NY).

Austin Rhodes - Smolder, who guided Ripley football for five seasons and will coach as an assistant this year at Cabell Midland, said of Rhodes, "Austin is one of the hardest working kids I've coached in 18 years. He plays with relentless effort and is a fierce competitor. Austin is one tough kid. I'm excited for him  and can't wait to see what the future holds. He was a joy to coach."